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EXCLUSIVE: Virgil Abloh Responds to Critics: “It’s Glaringly Obvious That I Stand With Black People”

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Virgil Abloh, one of the world’s most prominent Black designers, spoke exclusively with Fast Company staff writer Liz Segran about the Black Lives Matter movement, the criticism he has received in recent weeks, and his hope for the future.

Earlier this month, Abloh was accused of not showing enough support for the Black Lives Matter movement, after he expressed dismay at the looting of businesses and publicized an underwhelming donation to a bond fund.

“Our own communities, our own shops… this shop was built with blood sweat and tears,” he wrote on Instagram. Many people responded angrily that he seemed to be showing more concern for the business community than for those fighting for racial justice. Abloh explained to Fast Company that he struggled throughout his life to become a business owner himself, and one of his central goals now that he is a successful designer is to support other Black businesses. He apologized for his comments on Instagram, writing, “People who criticize ‘looting’ often do so as a way to make it seem like our fight against injustice isn’t legitimate. I did not realize the ways my comments accidentally contributed to that narrative.”

Abloh also posted an image of a $50 donation he made to an organization called Fempower that helped pay for the legal expenses of arrested protesters. This fueled even more anger, as people complained on social media that it was a measly sum for such a wealthy person to donate. Abloh insists it was a misunderstanding. “The goal was to say, ‘Get together with your friends and do what you can,’” Abloh says. “It was meant to say that no amount was too little to donate.” He later announced a donation of $20,500 to bail funds and other causes.

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The fashion industry is notoriously racist. Within the Council of Fashion Designers of America, one of the industry’s most prominent trade organizations, only 3% of members are Black. So when Abloh was named artistic director of menswear at Louis Vuitton, making him one of the only Black designers at the helm of a luxury fashion house, the fashion media celebrated his appointment.

Abloh understands the broader implications of his ascent. “I accept the circumstances of this position,” he says. “With great opportunity comes great responsibility. My goal is to lead by example.”

Abloh is part of a working group at Louis Vuitton that hopes to increase diversity internally. He describes himself as an optimist. He believes that we can undo systemic racism in his lifetime, and the current moment could push the fashion industry to tackle racial justice head on.

“I believe there’s going to be a Black Renaissance,” Abloh tells Fast Company. “Before I felt very alone in this struggle, but now, people are ready for change. The atmosphere is different.”

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Elizabeth Segran, PHD., is a senior staff writer at Fast Company. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her work has been published in The Atlantic, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs and The Nation.

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‘Dumsor’ has destroyed most of the ACs in my house – Mr. Drew

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Sensational Ghanaian singer and dancer, Mr. Drew, born Andrews Nii Commey Otoo has expressed his frustration regarding the negative impact of “dumsor” on his household appliances. (more…)

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I’ll return to stage even if I’ve to crawl – Celine Dion

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Renowned Canadian singer, Celine Dion has recently expressed her unwavering determination to overcome Stiff Person Syndrome and make a triumphant return to the stage.  (more…)

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Rihanna Claims She’s Starting Work On Her New Album Soon

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Celebrated Barbadian singer and actress, Robyn Fenty, popularly known as Rihanna has revealed that she working on her long awaited ninth album. (more…)

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Lady Dentaa Amoateng MBE celebrates GRAMMY’s expansion into Africa

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Accra – Ghana, June 12, 2024 – President of Grow, Unite and Build Africa (GUBA), Lady Dentaa Amoateng MBE, has expressed excitement about the Recording Academy’s expansion efforts to support music creators at the global level and the GRAMMY’s entry into Africa. (more…)

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Stonebwoy says he is not responsible for Shatta Wale’s show cancellation at TF hostel

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Famed Ghanaian reggae/dancehall artiste, Livingstone Etse Satekla, otherwise known as Stonebwoy has made it clear that he cannot be held responsible for the cancellation of Shatta Wale’s show at the TF Hostel. (more…)

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GHANA ENTERTAINMENT AWARDS USA TO HONOR PRINCE BRIGHT, DELORIS FRIMPONG MANSO (DELAY), JAY Q, MC PAPA LINKS, DJ E LOVE, DJ PRINCE PAUL FSRDJ & DOREEN ANDOH AT 2024 EVENT

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GHANA ENTERTAINMENT AWARDS USA

The Ghana Entertainment Awards USA is proud to announce that it will be honoring seven outstanding individuals in the Ghanaian entertainment industry at this year’s event. The 2024 awards ceremony, scheduled for July 6th at the Merkin Hall Theatre, Kauffman Music Center in New York, will recognize the significant contributions of ace musician Prince Bright of Buk-Bak fame, renowned TV and radio host Deloris Frimpong Manso, popularly known as Delay, celebrated music producer & sound engineer Jay Q, ace radio broadcaster Doreen Andoh, and US-based Ghanaian talents MC Papa Links, DJ E Love, and DJ Prince Paul.

Prince Bright, known for his influential role in the music duo Buk-Bak, has been a pivotal figure in the Ghanaian music scene for decades. His contributions have helped shape the sound and direction of modern Ghanaian music.

Delay, a household name in Ghana, has made remarkable strides as a TV and radio host. Her impactful interviews and shows have set new standards in the media industry, making her one of the most respected and influential media personalities in the country.

Jay Q, a legendary music producer and sound engineer, has been instrumental in producing some of Ghana’s biggest hits. His innovative production techniques and dedication to quality have earned him a place among the elite in the music production field.

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Doreen Andoh, a highly esteemed radio broadcaster, has been a trailblazer in the media industry for over 2 decades. Her compelling voice and engaging style have captivated audiences for years, earning her a distinguished place in Ghanaian media.

MC Papa Links, DJ E Love, and DJ Prince Paul FSRDJ have each made significant impacts in the entertainment scenes within the Ghanaian diaspora in the US. Their contributions to music and entertainment have fostered a vibrant cultural exchange and brought Ghanaian music to a broader audience.

The Ghana Entertainment Awards USA is thrilled to honor these extraordinary talents for their exceptional contributions to the Ghanaian entertainment industry. Their dedication and hard work have not only elevated their respective fields but also inspired countless others.

Tickets to the event can be purchased now via https://bit.ly/GEAWARDS. Voting is currently underway, so fans and supporters are encouraged to participate in the process by visitingwww.ghentawards.com/vote.

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About GEA USA: The Ghana Entertainment Awards USA was established to showcase the achievements of Ghanaian creatives and entertainers who excel in their fields both in Ghana and the diaspora. The event brings together industry professionals and fans to celebrate the rich culture and talents of Ghana.

Contact:

GEA USA Press Office Accra Email: [email protected]

For more information, follow GEA USA on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at @geawardsusa.

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